- Title: Georgana’s Secret (Proper Romance Regency)
- Author: Arlem Hawks
- Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
- Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (January 12, 2021)
- Length: (320) pages
- Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1629727929
- eBook ASIN: B08Q5MW1SG
- Audiobook ASIN: B08RLRZ65Q
- Tour Dates: January 11 – February 14, 2021
A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”— Publishers Weekly
“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com
Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily
“Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”— Booklist, starred review
Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.
Papa was in the cabin when Lieutenant Peyton came to retrieve his coat that night. Georgana did not know why her stomach twisted when her father expressed his surprise at the visit.
Georgana put her head down. She quickly finished off a last stitch on the coat and wove the tail of thread into the other stitches. The location of the hole made the repair more obvious
than the mending she had done on her father’s coat. She hoped it would meet the lieutenant’s expectations.
“George has been so kind as to mend my coat for me,” Lieutenant Peyton said.
Georgana felt Papa’s gaze. She had very little interaction with the men on the ship beyond relaying messages.
“Ah. I thought it was mine.” He feigned interest in the notes before him on the table, but Georgana saw him watching them.
“I’ve finished, sir.” She held out the coat to Lieutenant Peyton, but his eyes were on an open book sitting on the table. Her heart leaped into her throat. Her sketchbook.
The lieutenant picked it up and flipped through the pages. “Did you draw these, George?”
She wanted to pull his coat over her head. After finishing the mending, she had planned to make her first attempt at drawing a person. Thank heavens she hadn’t already begun.
“These are very good.” He held the book toward the lantern light, examining each image.
“They’re just waves,” Georgana said. She hoped the confession would dissuade him from continuing his perusal.
It didn’t. He gave each page more attention than the silly sketches deserved. “I can never grow tired of looking at waves. You have talent, George.”
Hardly. She bit her tongue, hoping to avoid blushing under his praise. “Your coat, sir.”
The lieutenant finally set down her book. “Thank you.” He inspected the mending. “If I did not already know you came from a naval family, I would ask your father’s profession, Mr. Taylor. Where did you learn how to do this?”
What did she say to that? Grandmother had made her learn mending.
Her father cleared his throat, turning the lieutenant’s attention back to him. “Has Jarvis’s temper cooled?”
Georgana relaxed. As much as she would have preferred to talk to the lieutenant alone, she was grateful her father had stayed in tonight.
“I believe so, sir.”
Lieutenant Peyton held up his coat. “Thank you, George. Good evening, Captain.”
Her father followed him to the door and shut it behind the lieutenant. When the sound of Peyton’s footsteps faded, he whirled.
“Does he know?”
Georgana’s eyes widened. “No, Captain.”
Her father let out a breath. His hand rose to his forehead. “Peyton has shown a marked interest in you of late. Does he suspect?”
Georgana swallowed. “I don’t think so.” Papa remained unaware of the defense lessons with the lieutenant, and she didn’t think he would appreciate knowing. Keeping things from her
father came easily. More easily than it should. She had kept Grandmother’s mistreatment hidden most of her life.
“You must be careful in your interactions with the men on this ship. We cannot be too cautious.” He returned to the table and sat heavily. He picked up his pen again, dipped into the inkwell, and continued the notes from before Lieutenant Peyton’s visit. “I cannot understand why he would take an interest in you.”
“Perhaps . . .”
He looked up and waited.
“Perhaps he saw a lonely cabin boy who needed a friend.” Her voice came out small and shaky.
Papa stared at her, mouth open as if to speak. But no words came. Eventually he closed it and turned back to his work.
Georgana slipped her needle into its place in her trunk, then plucked up her book and pencils. She took them to the chair by the windows and set a lantern on a sill. Papa would have to be her first unsuspecting subject.
They didn’t speak again that night. She drew until her father lay on his cot and let down the curtains. When his exhales deepened, she stopped her work on his likeness and turned to a fresh sheet.
Georgana drew lines for the bulwark, then outlined a head and shoulders. Arms resting against the rail. Hair flying back. Eyes closed. Ends of his lips lifted. She held the book back to
examine her work. The picture did not look like the lieutenant.
Grandmother cried out in her head. Mistake! Mistake!
Her fingers slowly, quietly tore the page from her book. She eased the window open enough to stick her hand through and released the page into the night air. It drifted this way and that until coming to rest on the surface of the water. The paper tarried a moment, then faded into the deep.
Chapter 6 Pages. 51-54
Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard a Royal Naval ship.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
Jan 11 My Jane Austen Book Club Excerpt
Jan 11 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog Review
Jan 12 Wishful Endings Review
Jan 12 Lu Reviews Books Review
Jan 13 Lady with a Quill Review
Jan 13 Timeless Novels Review
Jan 14 Reading is My Superpower Review
Jan 14 The Bibliophile Files Review
Jan 15 Randi Loves 2 Read Review
Jan 16 The Christian Fiction Girl Excerpt
Jan 17 Nurse Bookie Review
Jan 18 The Silver Petticoat Review Review
Jan 18 Heidi Reads Review
Jan 19 Bookfoolery Review
Jan 20 Captivated Reading Review
Jan 21 Greenish Bookshelf Review
Jan 21 Bookworm Lisa Review
Jan 22 Among the Reads Review
Jan 23 Gwedalyn’s Books Review
Jan 24 My Bookish Bliss Review
Jan 25 Wishful Endings Excerpt
Jan 25 Christian Chick’s Thoughts Review
Jan 26 Relz Reviewz Review
Jan 27 The Lit Bitch Review
Jan 28 Reading with Emily Review
Jan 29 Books, Teacups & Reviews Review
Jan 30 A Darn Good Read Review
Jan 31 From Pemberley to Milton Spotlight
Jan 31 Impressions in Ink Review
Feb 01 Austenesque Reviews Review
Feb 02 Laura’s Reviews Review
Feb 03 Literary Time Out Review
Feb 04 Chicks, Rogues & Scandals Excerpt
Feb 05 The Bluestocking Review
Feb 05 Library of Clean Reads Review
Feb 06 The Caffeinated Bibliophile Spotlight
Feb 07 So Little Time… Spotlight
Feb 08 The Readathon Review
Feb 09 The Book Diva Reads Excerpt
Feb 09 Books and Socks Rock Review
Feb 10 Our Book Confessions Review
Feb 10 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Spotlight
Feb 11 Rosanne E. Lortz Review
Feb 11 Jorie Loves a Story Review
Feb 12 Fire & Ice Excerpt
Feb 13 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please Review
Feb 14 Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerina Review